• Thousands gathered at Stonehenge this morning to witness the sun rising on the longest day of the year
  • 25 people arrested, largely for drugs-related offences, at site during Summer Solstice celebrations police say
  • Comes as forecasters predict highs of 26C today – hotter than Madrid – with dry, fine conditions continuing this week
  • Sun-lovers could be seen enjoying the Isle of Wight’s Round the Island race and splashing in the sea in Portsmouth

By
Lizzie Edmonds

The longest day of the year will see dry, fine conditions and highs of 26C – meaning Britons will bask in temperatures hotter than Madrid.

Forecasters said sun-lovers
would enjoy warm, sunny conditions throughout this weekend – with temperatures of around 26C in the south east today increasing to 27C tomorrow.

Across the country, people were out enjoying the summery conditions – attending the Isle of Wight Race Around the Island regatta, splashing around on the Portsmouth coast and wandering around rose gardens in Hampshire.

Sailing in: Spectators watch a fleet at the Round the Island race from the cliffs above The Needles on the Isle of Wight

Sailing in: Spectators watch a fleet at the Round the Island race from the cliffs above The Needles on the Isle of Wight

Spectacular: The fleet from the cliffs above The Needles. 1,600 yachts of all sizes competed in the 50 nautical mile race around the Isle of Wight which was first run in 1931

Spectacular: The fleet from the cliffs above The Needles. 1,600 yachts of all sizes competed in the 50 nautical mile race around the Isle of Wight which was first run in 1931

What a sight! It is the 83rd time the race has been held and it is the fourth largest participation event in the UK after the London Marathon

What a sight! It is the 83rd time the race has been held and it is the fourth largest participation event in the UK after the London Marathon

Fleet: A female spectator takes pictures of the thousands of boast taking part in the mammoth race

Fleet: A female spectator takes pictures of the thousands of boast taking part in the mammoth race

To the horizon: The fleet could be seen for miles around off the coast of the Isle of Wight this morning

To the horizon: The fleet could be seen for miles around off the coast of the Isle of Wight this morning

Forecasters added the fine conditions – which will be country-wide –
will continue in to the beginning of next week and through to Wednesday.

However,
those attending Wimbledon for the first day on Monday may wish to pack
an umbrella – as there is a risk of showers in the afternoon.

Glastonbury-goers should also prepare for wet weather as forecasters warn ‘unsettled weather is expected’ next weekend.

At Stonehenge this morning – scores of people could be seen enjoying a
beautiful, clear sunrise over the Wiltshire landscape.

Hours
earlier, 25 people at Stonehenge were arrested for were for largely
drugs-related offences, police said. They added two more people were
detained at Avebury, a henge monument in Wiltshire containing three
stone circles.

Girls' day out: A group of girls enjoy the sun - and a sweet treat - at Southsea Beach this afternoon

Girls’ day out: A group of girls enjoy the sun – and a sweet treat – at Southsea Beach this afternoon

Fun in the sun: A young boy messes around on the Portsmouth beach while two friends chat in the sea in the background

Fun in the sun: A young boy messes around on the Portsmouth beach while two friends chat in the sea in the background

Sunny day: Two children enjoy the sunshine on Southsea Beach, Portsmouth in highs of 26C

Sunny day: Two children enjoy the sunshine on Southsea Beach, Portsmouth in highs of 26C

Soaking up the rays: Two people sit and enjoy the sunshine and a picnic on Southsea Beach, Portsmouth

Soaking up the rays: Two people sit and enjoy the sunshine and a picnic on Southsea Beach, Portsmouth

Treat: One-year-old Claudia Louise Bishop of Acle, Norfolk,  cools down by enjoying an ice cream on Great Yarmouth beach

Treat: One-year-old Claudia Louise Bishop of Acle, Norfolk, cools down by enjoying an ice cream on Great Yarmouth beach

Splashing around:  Children enjoy Summer Soltice day by playing in the water feature  in City Park, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Splashing around: Children enjoy Summer Soltice day by playing in the water feature in City Park, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Cool: Two children play about in the water feature in the West Yorkshire town - which was experiencing warm and humid conditions today

Cool: Two children play about in the water feature in the West Yorkshire town - which was experiencing warm and humid conditions today

Cool: Two children play about in the water feature in the West Yorkshire town – which was experiencing warm and humid conditions today

Busy day: Scores of people flocked to the seafront on Brighton beach today to lap up the rays

Busy day: Scores of people flocked to the seafront on Brighton beach today to lap up the rays

Flower power: Sisters Ashlee, seven, (left) and Grace, five, (right), play amongst flowers in Southsea Rose Garden in Southsea, Portsmouth

Flower power: Sisters Ashlee, seven, (left) and Grace, five, (right), play amongst flowers in Southsea Rose Garden in Southsea, Portsmouth

The
Summer Solstice has a long tradition of attracting people to monuments
such as Stonehenge, off the A303, where latter-day Druids gathered to
witness the sun rising on the longest day.

Those
who welcomed in the sunrise at 4.43am experienced temperatures of
around 10C – which increased to above average temperatures of 23C during
the morning.

1,600 yachts of all sizes competed in the
50 nautical mile race around the Isle of Wight which was first run in
1931. It is the 83rd time the race has been held and it is the fourth
largest participation event in the UK after the London Marathon.

Elsewhere, children played in the City Park, Bradford, West Yorkshire, while others took to the sea off the coast of Portsmouth.

However, dark clouds gathered over the northern city of Newcastle this afternoon – perhaps suggesting ominous weather approaching.

A spokesman from the Met Office said:
‘For sunrise in Wiltshire this morning, those at Stonehenge would have
had dry conditions at about 10C. Those temperatures would have increased
to around 23C by mid morning.

In bloom: Meanwhile, visitors to Mottisfont Abbey near Romsey, Hants, enjoy a spot of the good weather in the famous rose gardens

In bloom: Meanwhile, visitors to Mottisfont Abbey near Romsey, Hants, enjoy a spot of the good weather in the famous rose gardens

Smells like summer: A woman wanders around the beautiful gardens at Mottisfont Abbey while soaking up the rays

Smells like summer: A woman wanders around the beautiful gardens at Mottisfont Abbey while soaking up the rays

Trouble at bay? Dark clouds gathering over the Newcastle skyline this afternoon, however, despite forecasters predicting fine weather in the north

Trouble at bay? Dark clouds gathering over the Newcastle skyline this afternoon, however, despite forecasters predicting fine weather in the north

Sunrise: Thousands gathered at 4.43am to witness the sun rising on the longest day of the year at prehistoric monument Stonehenge

Sunrise: Thousands gathered at 4.43am to witness the sun rising on the longest day of the year at prehistoric monument Stonehenge

Morning has broken: The sun rises above the prehistoric monument - where Druids would have gathered thousands of years ago to mark the Summer Solstice

Morning has broken: The sun rises above the prehistoric monument – where Druids would have gathered thousands of years ago to mark the Summer Solstice

Beautiful: The sun peaks through one of the 8ft stones. Police say 25 people were arrested at the site for largely drug-related offences overnight

Beautiful: The sun peaks through one of the 8ft stones. Police say 25 people were arrested at the site for largely drug-related offences overnight

Capture the moment: One man takes a picture of the rising sun over the Wiltshire stones on his camera phone

Capture the moment: One man takes a picture of the rising sun over the Wiltshire stones on his camera phone

‘Conditions will remain dry and bright throughout the day – with temperatures of about 10/11C in the evening.

‘Elsewhere,
other than the very north of Scotland, conditions will also be dry and
fine. London should get the best temperatures – of around 26C.

‘These
good conditions will continue tomorrow – with highs of around 27C in
the south and 20/20 in the north of the country. These temperatures are
above the June average which is 19/20C in the south.

View: A group of people silouhetted against the background watch the sunrise on the Summer Solstice in Avebury, Wiltshire

View: A group of people silouhetted against the background watch the sunrise on the Summer Solstice in Avebury, Wiltshire

Warm: In a beautiful shot, the sun can be seen over the hills in Wiltshire - while Summer Solstice attendees watch on

Warm: In a beautiful shot, the sun can be seen over the hills in Wiltshire – while Summer Solstice attendees watch on

Longest day: About 27,000 people gathered at the Wiltshire monument to witness the sun rising in temperatures of around 10C

Longest day: About 27,000 people gathered at the Wiltshire monument to witness the sun rising in temperatures of around 10C

Gathering: Thousands pack in to the monument as the sun shines over them. Temperatures will reach about 26C in the south of the country today

Gathering: Thousands pack in to the monument as the sun shines over them. Temperatures will reach about 26C in the south of the country today

Enjoying the sunrise? An extensively tattooed reveler called Mad Alan celebrates the 2014 summer solstice

Enjoying the sunrise? An extensively tattooed reveler called Mad Alan celebrates the 2014 summer solstice

Snap happy: Hundreds of people capture the rising sun on their cameras this morning - before most of them headed back to sleep

Snap happy: Hundreds of people capture the rising sun on their cameras this morning – before most of them headed back to sleep

Calm: One groups of attendees meditate with the sun on their faces in the calm of the early morning

Calm: One groups of attendees meditate with the sun on their faces in the calm of the early morning

Fun and games: Attendee Mad Alan plays with a brightly clad child shortly after sunrise this morning

Fun and games: Attendee Mad Alan plays with a brightly clad child shortly after sunrise this morning

Character: A modern druid named Merlin stands as the sun rises at the prehistoric monument Stonehenge

Character: A modern druid named Merlin stands as the sun rises at the prehistoric monument Stonehenge

‘The good conditions should continue
through to the middle of next week – but there is about a 20 per cent
chance of showers at Wimbledon on Monday in the afternoon.

‘Next
weekend looks a little more uncertain and there is a risk of unsettled
weather. Those going to Glastonbury should be prepared.’

Following
the arrest at Stonehenge, a police spokesman said: ‘We are pleased
that the Solstice celebrations at Stonehenge and Avebury have been
enjoyable events for the majority of people attending.

‘There were 25 arrests at Stonehenge and two at Avebury which were mainly for drug-related offences.

Missed the sunrise? A group of people catch up on some sleep on the grass as the mist gathers around them

Missed the sunrise? A group of people catch up on some sleep on the grass as the mist gathers around them

Overnight: Those at Stonehenge get a bit of sleep before their early start this morning. Two other people were arrested at Avebury, police said

Overnight: Those at Stonehenge get a bit of sleep before their early start this morning. Two other people were arrested at Avebury, police said

Occasion: Crowds gather at the site last night - while police officers patrol the area. Temperatures will be above the June average of 19/20C this weekend

Occasion: Crowds gather at the site last night – while police officers patrol the area. Temperatures will be above the June average of 19/20C this weekend

Party: A lady shows of her hoola skills in front of the crowds at Stonehenge on the eve of the summer solstice

Party: A lady shows of her hoola skills in front of the crowds at Stonehenge on the eve of the summer solstice

Bright: Another attendee shows off her hoola skills in front of party-goers at the site. Good weather conditions should continue well in to next week, forecasters say

Bright: Another attendee shows off her hoola skills in front of party-goers at the site. Good weather conditions should continue well in to next week, forecasters say

Song and dance: Two young people dance and sing with a guitar - much to the joy of other revellers - as part of pre-Solstice celebrations in Whiltshrie

Song and dance: Two young people dance and sing with a guitar – much to the joy of other revellers – as part of pre-Solstice celebrations in Whiltshrie

‘The road system worked well with minimum delays and many people used the public transport as we advised people to do. Every year there are new challenges for us at Solstice but it is always a pleasure to see so many people enjoying the event.

‘This year we estimate 36,000 people visited the stones throughout the night.

‘There is always a small proportion of people who will try to break the law but I am satisfied that this was a successful policing operation and Wiltshire Police continue to facilitate a safe Solstice with our partners.’

Dressed up: Meanwhile, at day five of the Ascot races, six glamorous women pose for photographs at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Dressed up: Meanwhile, at day five of the Ascot races, six glamorous women pose for photographs at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Ready for the celebrations: A group of friends in their best attire swig from bottles of champagne at the races

Ready for the celebrations: A group of friends in their best attire swig from bottles of champagne at the races

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

Neverfaraway,

around town, United Kingdom,

moments ago

The other day DM was claiming that the UK was hotter than Rio,next day it was hotter than Ibiza and now hotter than Madrid.Is the DM being sponsored by the national tourism board?…oh and 26c isn’t particularly hot,anything over 32c then I would agree.

ajoke,

Universe, United Kingdom,

5 minutes ago

Close your eyes Harrat all you will see are people looking like you – where are 15% of our Country who needs employment in the BBC!

The Little Bull,

London, United Kingdom,

13 minutes ago

Beautiful on the North Costa Blanca – 32 degrees, light sea breeze dropping to around 24 at night – and tomorrow and the next day and the day after that and the month after that and the month after …….

Sandy Brown,

London,

15 minutes ago

Amazing photos. Love them. I do not like the ones of that guy with the tattoos though.

Kinghoo,

Toronto, Canda,

16 minutes ago

I think it is fairly cool indeed!

Alex69,

Swindon, United Kingdom,

17 minutes ago

we live in a fantastic country

Kinghoo,

Toronto, Canda,

20 minutes ago

I think it is fairly cool indeed!

Steve,

Andalucia-Spain,

21 minutes ago

Where does DM get its info? At 7.30 pm it is 27.5 degrees, forecast 29 tomorrow.

RW,

LONDON, United Kingdom,

25 minutes ago

Uusal boring DM weather rubbish – either hotter than…or colder than…their only dubious forecast…

OncNurse5,

Hastings-St.Louis, United Kingdom,

40 minutes ago

LOVELY pics there!!! The regatta ones are just beautiful, as are all the beach and water scenes. Really lovely AND it’s nice to see so many people out & about, doing things they love – & SUCH a variety – especially after all of the horrid, evil news items that have been reported over the last days & weeks.

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